You might be asking yourself: what’s the best kind of shape you can attain naturally? It’s something we’ve all asked ourself during a bodybuilding or aesthetics transformation.
If it wasn’t already hard enough to figure out what’s possible, a lot of sites also love to mix up naturals and fake naturals who use PEDs while claiming they’re natural.
Today, we’re going to look at the best real natural bodybuilders – the men who have pushed to their natural limits. These are the examples of what you can achieve in terms of both muscle and conditioning without PEDs.
This list is going to include famous natural bodybuilders and some personal favourites that show impressive levels of natural bodybuilding – and I update it all the time, so let me know if you think I’ve missed anyone!
A few notes on our list
We’re going to cover the popular personalities out there who have put their physiques and hard work on the internet. We all know there are gym monsters out there who keep it low-key, and local gyms have their own impressive natural bodybuilders.
This list will cover people who might not even compete, but still show us natural bodybuilders what is possible. If they don’t get their glory on the stage, they’re going to get it on this list, because they deserve recognition!
Remember: this list isn’t in order of favourites or most impressive. Everyone here is doing awesome and it’s a list of inspirational and impressive
(Disclaimer: If you appear on this list and don’t want to be part of it, please send me directly a message at [email protected])
Steve Reeves, a powerful natural bodybuilder from the 50’s!
You can’t talk natural bodybuilders without looking at where it all started – the guys who set the stage for what we think is possible today.
Steve Reeves was born in 1926 and achieved great fame in an era where bodybuilding was still in its infancy – in the years before we knew so much about muscle-building. It’s even more impressive, therefore, that he managed to achieve a great physique and inspire a generation of bodybuilders with a well-developed, aesthetic physique that still looks great today.
He was an American actor and bodybuilder, a precedent we’d see repeated time and time again. He won a number of titles in bodybuilding, cementing himself as an all-time great and one of the fathers of modern physique:
- 1947 : Mr. America
- 1948 : Mr. World
- 1950 : Mr Univere
Here is a summary of what to take from Steve Reeves:
By Reeves’s own account, at his bodybuilding peak he stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 metres) tall, weighed 216 pounds (98 kg), had 18.25-inch (46.4-cm) biceps, a 52-inch (132-cm) chest, a 29-inch (74-cm) waist, and 38-inch (96.5-cm) hips.
Reeves championed full body workouts, instead of bodybuilding splits, and set goals for each workout – something you should be doing today. Interestingly, he also used power-walking with weight for his conditioning, burning fat and maintaining postural strength.
Reeves was also one of the men championing the natural cause, even in these earlier days:
“I don’t believe in bodybuilders using steroids. If a man doesn’t have enough male hormones in his system to create, a nice hard, muscular body, he should take up ping pong.”
Natural Power! ! I love Reeves and his attitude so much that I even wrote a whole article on how to get aesthetics like Steve Reeves!
Eugene Sandow, natural bodybuilder of the 19th century!
Before Reeves, and before bodybuilding itself, there was Eugen Sandow – a strongman who pioneered bodybuilding.
While working as a strongman in a circus, people quickly became interested in the physique Sandow had developed – lean and muscular at the same time, when strength used to be associated with huge, fat guys.
We bring it back to 1867, so that’s for sure there was no performance-enhancing drugs!
To be fair, Eugene Sandow was one strong guy. He reminds us of what is achievable naturally both in terms of aesthetics and strength. He even rocked the full-body shave before it was cool!
He could one-arm snatch 180lbs. It’s been claimed Eugene could also perform one-finger pull-ups and back flips with 15kg weights in his hands. One last claim was that he could lift or bench-press a cow! Though it’s hard to say how mature the cow was, that’s still what we call functional strength!
Sadly, Sandow didn’t have Instagram to show off his achievements – so you’ll have to read more about him to learn about this lifting legend!
Natural bodybuilder and youtuber Alpha destiny!
Let’s come back to the YouTube game, where you are going to find a wide range of real natties and fake-natties alike.
Alexander Leonidas from Canada is a YouTuber which has shown an impressive physique over the years. Especially when we look at the delts and pecs, building out a very aesthetic shoulder girdle and V-taper.
He also talks about the “natural limit” and how natural bodybuilders often overuse this concept – something I really appreciate.
His philosophy goes for focusing on muscles which will make natural bodybuilders look big, fast. Any “hard-gainer” would see themselves improve pretty quickly with this kind of approach.
He also insists on how important strength is when you are training as a natural bodybuilder and that volume is not the only important factor. Building a foundation of strength and developing the size-potential of muscles is a key part of Leonidas’ training philosophy and one we all need to focus on.
Alexander is quite short and very stocky. His lifts are more than impressive for his bodyweight and have increased impressively in the last couple of years, and he’s an outspoken critic of both steroid use in the fitness community and the prevalence of fake naturals.
From his videos, here are some of his performances:
175kg bench-press at 170lbs/77kg bodyweight
10x235kg trap bar deadlift
100kg overhead press
You can find his Instagram here!
Youtuber and natural bodybuilder Natural Hypertrophy!
I discovered Natural hypertrophy on YouTube in 2020 and I really like his approach to natural bodybuilding. Natural Hypertrophy was often commenting on Youtuber’s channels to grow his channel. That’s how most of his follower base noticed him in the first place.
This is the second French-speaking natural bodybuilder in a row – which you know is going to appeal to me. The physique shown in his videos is what to expect from years of hard work in natural bodybuilding. He discusses controversial subjects and wants more honesty in the fitness industry, which I think we can all agree with!
You will find some videos where he debates the authenticity of sites such as nattyornot.com – which is helpful accountability. You will also find him discussing concepts around injury risk and how to handle training for naturals, specifically.
One thing which stands out in his channel is also his passion for manga which he often uses as a source of inspiration in his videos. Luckily for you, we actually have Natural hypertrophy’s interview on the blog! A must read/listen!
Here are some stats you’ll find in his content:
15x120kg Yates rows
35 push-ups in 30 seconds
Watch his transformation:
Geoffrey Verity Schofield, natural bodybuilder and Youtuber
Do you want to have someone greeting you with a “What’s up human kind” or “What’s up mouth breathers”?
Do you want to have someone greeting you with a “What’s up humankind” or “What’s up mouth breathers”?
Then you should follow Geoffrey – you get a nice range of attitudes.
I noticed Geoffrey for the first time on Quora, I was simply starting to post a few answers on this huge forum when I saw that someone under the name of Geoffrey Verity Schofield was getting millions of views for his answers. There was almost no thread where Geoffrey had not answered yet! I humbly left Quora with my thousands of views a month and decided I should use another platform!
Geoffrey has monopolised Quora and built an insane following on the giant red forum. His YouTube channel is growing quickly and today speaks truth and honesty to an audience of 12000 subscribers – and I think it should be more than that!
That’s his main goal, bringing the right information and honesty to the fitness industry. It’s just one more reason I like his content. It’s hard to find videos of his best lifts, but you can find him performing sets of 20 on the deadlift with 160kg, if you’re into horrible volume training!
Youtuber Omar Isuf, natural bodybuilder and powerlifter!
Omar talks about powerlifting and bodybuilding and debates on subjects like “who should bench and who should not?”, as well as more controversial subjects, – just like us – such as “modern bodybuilding vs old school bodybuilding”.
Omar has similarities to most of the other natural bodybuilders presented on this page, he lifts a shit-ton of weight with a mixture of powerlifting and bodybuilding works to get massive! (see Powerbuilding).
Omar has got some impressive lifts:
Bench: 160kg paused
Check out his transformation video:
Arthur, natural bodybuilder and Frenchman!
Hey, that’s me!
Yes, it’s time for a shameless plug: I am natural bodybuilder and I’d like to be part of this list to show what’s achievable naturally for real people with hard work and no PEDs.
I would spend afternoons in the gym every day and try to get as much as I could on the bench-press, my favourite exercise.
- Bench-press: 182.5kg
- Squat: 175kg (I know, it’s a work in progress)
- Deadlift: 250kg
I often talk about the fact natural bodybuilders can train much longer than people think – and longer and more effectively than a lot of the literature says. I’m still far off the natural limit, but my YouTube channel documents my progress and journey!
If you’ve read this far, come show your boy some love for topics on natural bodybuilding, the journey I made as a ‘hardgainer’, and how to train more effectively.
Igor from Vitruvian physique, natural bodybuilder and youtuber.
The top natural bodybuilders have the kinds of physiques you’d want to show off on the beach – but it’s important to remember that it’s a heavily-contested part of bodybuilding shows. Igor from Vitruvian physique has done both – and now produces content.
The kind of physique we all want to show off in summer takes more than 3 months – and top natural bodybuilders like Vitruvian physique talk about the development of a natural physique over years. And he’d know, with great overall development and the kind of physique that will impress both on the beach and the competition stage!
Igor has been competing in the past but found himself quite disappointed of the overall decision. He describes the whole process as enjoyable and a great experience but because bodybuilding isn’t always fair and the judges made questionable decisions.
Nonetheless, Igor has shown great conditioning with single-digit bodyfat and a great model-style physique that can be maintained year-round. Not only on stage but in the gym, too, Igor has some impressive lifts which can be reached by anyone natural who’s ready to work his ass off.
He also makes videos about the reality of steroid use in the world of bodybuilding and how you have to be careful.
Here are a few lifts Igor has completed – all while keeping a low bodyweight and aesthetic physique.
Bench: 140kgx4 at 199lbs
Natural bodybuilder and youtuber Jason Gallant!
Jason from the natural Gallant bodybuilding channel is one of the best natural physique out there and I only discovered him last year – despite his years of amazing cover shoots and stunning physique.
What a beautiful magazine, natural bodybuilding! As you can see, we are talking massive natural physiques!
Jason’s a great example of where the line gets fuzzy: some people think he might be using, but he’s just a great example of what a natural limit might look like: he attained his physique after more than 20 years of hard training.
A 2-3 hours daily training program was part of this guy’s routine. He has been featured a few times in magazines as an example of how to get huge naturally. Not your average natural bodybuilder then!
When I look at what this man has achieved, and footage of him on stage, it’s easy to have some regrets about where the fitness industry has gone. This is a creative and interesting routine from a natural guy who could hang with the “open” guys in terms of conditioning and training intensity. With the split and the dance moves, that is game over for other competitors. It’s great to see this kind of passion and ingenuity on the stage!
His YouTube channel is about natural bodybuilding and how to train as a natural bodybuilder. There is also this 80’s vibe which is awesome! Jason is always dancing and is not scared of showing his true personality, along with top bodybuilding content!
Some of his best lifts are:
Bench: 40x100kg (can you imagine the pump?)
Squat: 25x180kg reps
The bodybuilding world has not given enough credit to this guy!
Last thing, I also very recently discovered his spiritual channel! Check it out.
Charlie, natural bodybuilder from the U.K!
Charlie is what the English call “a northerner” – and not your average natural bodybuilder.
Charlie had humble beginnings as a “hard-gainer”. He was a very skinny kid, weighing around 12 stone – and now he benches 160kg, so you might want to call this a success story. If you haven’t read his interview, you should, because you’ll learn a lot from this guy.
Charlie will teach you the ways to become massive and strong! Follow his Instagram page.
Greg O’gallagher, natural bodybuilder and youtuber!
If you are familiar with this famous youtubeur, Greg “is the type of guy” who has great natural programs for natural bodybuilders. A great understanding of how strength and volume training should be combined together for an optimal natural physique.
His category falls more for those who want to have a great natural physique while enjoying their life on the side and not having to spend 24/7 in the gym. He often gets pissed off about the current fitness industry and the amount of fake naturals which are “spoiling the sport”. Greg sometimes sometimes gets a lot of hate but no one can deny here that Greg is very strong for his bodyweight.
Here is his 27 reps on the benchpress at 225lbs
David, natural bodybuilder, weightlifter and powerlifter!
I often talk about specialising in the articles on this blog, and that’s because it’s key to becoming good at a specific exercise.
But there’s also a lot to be said for training different things to build well-rounded strength. That’s what when you come across David who seems to be good at everything. This guy can do the human flag, do 30 strict pull ups, squat 180kg, deadlift 220kg and bench 145k – all at 80kg/175lbs body weight.
David has suffered a lot of injuries and recently got back into training. However, in only 3 months, his muscle memory hasn’t let him down. In this video, he smashes 18 pull ups on the “Sally up” challenge.
Natural bodybuilder and youtuber Nick’s strength and power!
Nick’s strength and power is a famous youtuber with a loyal following because of his level-headed discussion on trends and personalities in the fitness industry.
Probably one of the most famous natural bodybuilders out there, Nick has been dedicated to natural bodybuilding his whole life and stayed the true natty path. Natural bodybuilding or not, he talks about bodybuilding in general, and has some really great, informed takes on the fitness industry!
Nick has built an impressive physique as a natural bodybuilder with an especially impressive strict curl!
His best lifts:
- 65kg strict curl
- 60kg/135lbs x12 overhead press
- 220kg/485lbs deadlift (at least)
If you are into bodybuilding history and informative content 3-4 times a day – just like I am – you can check out this channel!
Oh, and to my surprise, I also discovered he will sometimes show his hedgehog. Hedgehog gains, let’s go!
Jean, natural bodybuilder and French man!
Jean has got a great physique – he’s an impressive and very strong guy. Not only that, but he has got some aesthetics going on, despite starting as a fellow skinny kid!
We’ve done a full interview with Jean – so you can read all about his transformation process and his training philosophy in that interview!
Jean has got a great physique. Honestly impressive and he is a very strong guy. Not only that, but he has got some aesthetics going on. You can check him out on his interview for the blog.
Today, Jean boasts a bench-press 145kg, squat 190kg, deadlift 220kg. His bodyweight? 83kg/180lbs! A great example of getting into great shape and getting strong along the way.
If you like Jean’s transformation, follow him on Instagram.
Vicsnatural, natural bodybuilder and youtuber.
Vicsnatural! His shape is too amazing. Even me, as someone who has trained massively over 10 years, I looked at his physique the first time and wondered if he was natural.
His physique looks anything but the classic “3D steroids delts. It looks natural, and naturally good!
I think this is a great example of what good genetics look like in natural, healthy people.
Maybe he has got great genetics too? But honestly, after training almost everyday for 20 years, of course you can achieve that naturally. Having his incredible biceps peak though? Not given to everyone – that’s where it comes to personal strengths and weaknesses.
There is a video where he also shows his brother – another very impressive physique, if natural! There are some muscle freaks in this family! Follow him if you like the content!
There is a video where he also shows his brother. Very impressive if natural! There are some muscle freaks in this family! Follow him if you like the content!
Vincent, Natural fitness model, 22 years old.
Vincent would never say “I am a bodybuilder”.
He’s all about aesthetics, but in the classic fitness model mould of staying smaller, but getting lean and working on classic model shapes. Adding him to this list is important to me because he has excellent conditioning – and it shows the trade-off of size and shreds for natural bodybuilders!
There are too many people out there who would never believe that it is possible to reach such low body-fat while remaining natural. Vincent went super low and looked as lean as someone using cutting compounds – all while staying natural and achieving great vascularity.
Vincent has stopped training for fitness as much as he used to, but his examples are great for natural trainees who want to get as cut as possible!
We’ve done an interview with Vincent discussing what it takes to get lean as a natural, which you can read here.
In my opinion, Vincent could have done insanely well in men’s physique as a natural, since he has great conditioning. With more mass – which is totally possible – this kind of physique can be seriously competitive.
His level of definition was freaky and proportions undeniably awesome.
Ryan Terry? Never heard of her!
For Vincent’s instagram and learning more about mindfulness, it’s here.
Will is a British student who’s got an incredible natural physique.
What I find really impressive is how thick his upper body has become while staying natural. The delt and arm gains are great and they’re one of the most commonly-chased shapes.
Growing big arms as a natural bodybuilder can be difficult – but if you’re looking to grow big arms, this guy is your number one example. Will has only been training for 4 years, that’s to show how well you can do in that amount of time.
Will was pushed to train by his friends who told him he’d take well to bodybuilding and that it was a shame he hadn’t started lifting weights yet. Will is not obsessed with how much he can lift but rather the aesthetic side of bodybuilding.
He’s currently still massing, while preparing for a cut, and I think it’s clear that he’s doing great and showing us what kind of upper body is possible with good training as a natural bodybuilder.
His best tip for beginners is just to be consistent and stick at it. When he started, he mentions he did not really feel like going to the gym but as soon as he got results, he couldn’t imagine his life without it!
Adrian Pietrariu, natural bodybuilder competitor
Adrian is a natural bodybuilding competitor who’s won many titles and that I discovered recently in generation iron’s interviews. This was during the making of the film: Generation Iron, natty 4 life!
Adrian has a great natural physique, and unlike Rob Terry and Mike O’Hearn, I really believe he is natural. He’s a huge guy and his conditioning is great, but he’s another great example of the “natural limit” we talked about before.
This is definitely the kind of mass and conditioning I’d consider to be a great goal for natural bodybuilders who are wondering just how much is possible. Adrian is a great balance of muscle mass and conditioning, and the result looks great! No YouTube channel for Adrian, but a Facebook page where you’ll find his takes on bodybuilding and more!
So, have you decided to get a great physique naturally? These are some examples of different natural bodybuilding and the range from lean fitness models to jacked bodybuilding competitors, all without the use of PEDs or steroids!
Who’s your favourite? Who do you think should be on this list? What’s your take on the training of these guys? I love hearing from you, so drop a comment below and let us know what you think!